Annual Report of the Massachusetts highway commission.

Introduction

The Massachusetts Highway Commission has already made three reports to the Legislature of the Commonwealth. The first of these reports was prepared in accordance with the act approved June 2, 1892, establishing a commission of inquiry, which was directed to report to the next session of the Legislature all facts that could be ascertained concerning the condition of the roads in the Commonwealth, as well as a project for a bill to provide for their improvement. On the basis of this report, and a draft of a bill which was therewith submitted, an act providing for a permanent commission was approved June 10, 1893. Experience showed that certain provisions of the bill above mentioned, especially those requiring an appropriation for each State road by the Legislature before the work of construction could be undertaken, made it impossible to begin any road building that year. It was not until an amended act was approved, on June 20, 1894, accompanied by an appropriation, that the commission found itself in the possession of the means which would enable it to accomplish any substantial work. Owing to this amendment, further delays were required by the need of having new petitions and surveys prepared by the several petitioners, and it was in the latter part of August, 1894, that the actual construction of roads was begun.

The report of that year, the second of the commission, recorded the progress which had been made in the several undertakings. In almost all cases, on account of the early setting in of winter, the work was necessarily left in an incomplete state. In the appendices of the present report an account will be given as to the further work done on the roads above mentioned, as well as that which has been undertaken during the present year, in accordance with the petitions from the county commissioners or those received from the authorities of the different municipalities. The number of petitions received for State highways in the year 1895 was 115, the number submitted in the year 1894 was 109, making a total of 224. These petitions represent 198 municipalities.

Meetings Of The Commission.

During the year 1895 the commission has beld 88 meetings at its office at 15 Court Square, Boston. It has also made numerous journeys for the purpose of viewing roads petitioned for, or in order to inspect works in process of construction.

In compliance with the law requiring a stated advertised meeting to be held in each county, the commission has held such meetings in all the counties excepting Suffolk. The omission in the case of Suffolk has been made because of the fact that the office of the commission is situated in that county, and the citizens thereof have access to the meetings of the Board which have been held as above noted.

One or more members of the Board has inspected each road the construction of which was contemplated, and similar inspections have been made at various stages in the advance of the work. Especial care has been taken to have such inspections made by at least one member of the Board, in company with the chief engineer, during that portion of the spring time when the frost was coming from the ground, and when it was possible to judge as to the conditions to be met with in building a road and as to the satisfactory nature of the work which had been done during the preceding autumn.

Contracts.

The laws which guide the commission permit either of two methods whereby contracts may be made for the construction of State roads. In the first, the contract can be made directly with the authorities of the city or town, on a basis afforded by the estimate of the commission as to the cost of the work; in the other, the contract may be made with private parties, after due advertisement, the conditions of the agreement being previously approved by the governor and council. All contracts made in 1894 were with the municipal authorities. In 1895 five contracts were made with private parties, for work which for one reason or another the cities and towns in interest declined to undertake. In both the above-described methods the proceedings after the contract are the same. The work is done under the immediate supervision of a resident engineer, employed by the commission, who is controlled by the chief engineer immediately representing the Board.

Each of the two methods of contracting for the construction of State roads, as above described, has been found to have certain advantages. Where the work is done by the municipal authorities, experience shows that the effect is to inform many citizens concerning the proper method of road building. In many cases a considerable number of the men of the town have been enabled to acquire some knowledge as to the proper methods of road construction, and they have generally displayed a great desire to inform themselves concerning the work. In several instances, towns, after completing pieces of State work allotted to them, have continued the same methods of construction on roads of a local character. Moreover, in many cases it has been found possible to induce the communities about to undertake the construction of a piece of State road to buy rollers and crushers, which machines, being in possession of the local authorities, are likely to lead to important improvements in the methods of constructing their ways. On the other hand, it has been shown by experience that work done by the towns or under their control is naturally accomplished at less speed than that which is done by a private contractor. In effect this requires the commission to maintain a resident engineer at the point of operations for a longer period than would have been necessary if an ordinary contractor had been employed.

Still further, in certain cases it has been found that the town or city authorities are required by law or custom to pay more than the usual wage to the laborers whom they employ, and in some cases these authorities have been led to employ workmen who were not able bodied. The result of these conditions is that in certain cases contracts have entailed considerable losses upon the municipal authorities.

Where the contracts are taken by private bidders, the work is performed by the cheapest labor which the contractors can obtain. There is a limitation in the law to the effect that all workmen employed on State roads shall be citizens of the Commonwealth, but this does not prevent the contractors from hiring the laborers they employ at the cheapest possible rate. These may not be citizens of the town in which the work is being done, but persons imported from the great cities. Thus it may come about that not only are the wages of these laborers as well as those of the superintendents given to non-residents, but the information which they obtain does not abide in the community where the work is done.

In Appendix D there will be found a tabulated statement of the contracts which have been made with the different municipalities and with private parties or corporations. It will be observed that in general the rates awarded under these contracts, to the towns or to other contractors, do not vary in any considerable measure. The commissioners take this to be satisfactory evidence that the arrangements as to prices which they have made with the local authorities, without the test of competition, have been on the whole reasonable.

Sidewalks.

In the progress of the work the commissioners have found themselves perplexed by the question as to the desirability of including, within the limits of the location of State highways, the existing sidewalks, or those portions of the ordinary right of way which are so placed as to make it likely that such foot walks would have to be constructed. To take the responsibility of improving and accepting these foot ways would be to involve the State in a much greater expense than would be required for building and repairing the roads for carriages alone. The original law and the amendments thereto make no mention of sidewalks, although provision was made for other details, such as the planting of trees and the location of watering troughs.

It should also be noted that by accepting the responsibility for the construction of foot ways the commission might render the State liable to suits for all accidents that might occur from defects of any kind. This would greatly increase the cost of supervising and maintaining the ways.

As a temporary expedient to meet the above-noted difficulties in cases where they have arisen, the commission usually has taken as a State highway only so much of the location as is needed for the wheel way and the gutters, leaving in possession of the local authorities the strip on either side of the way, containing, or which may contain, a sidewalk. It is evident that this arrangement is likely to prove in certain ways unsatisfactory. The commission therefore feels that, while it should be allowed to take as a State road the whole width of the location, the sidewalks should be built and maintained as under the existing laws, freeing the State from all liability as to damages.

Bridges.

The bridges which existed on the roads which have been laid out as State highways have been found in most cases to be in a very unsatisfactory condition. In certain instances they have been replaced by stone arches, but in most cases it has appeared desirable to adopt constructions of a less expensive sort by the use of some form of iron or steel work which would permit carrying macadam ways directly over the structures. Careful reckoning shows that with reasonable allowance for repairs the metal construction is much cheaper than that of the masonry. From any other point of view, except that of first cost, the stone bridge is much more satisfactory than any other; its durability is practically unlimited, it needs no careful inspection, it does not cause the interference with traffic which is occasioned by the repairing or reconstruction of a metal bridge, and it is a far more agreeable element in the landscape. It is only with a view of keeping down the average cost of State roads that stone arches have not been in every instance used. It has been found that in many cases the difference in the cost of a bridge of stone, say three spans of ten feet each, over one of a cheaper, but equally safe nature, built of iron or steel, would amount to a sum sufficient to build a considerable length of road. Therefore, though reluctantly, the commission has decided generally to use the cheaper but less graceful, rather than the more enduring system of construction, leaving to the next generation the task of building these important elements of a road in a more satisfactory way.

Trees and Watering Troughs.

The commission is directed, where feasible, to plant trees and maintain watering troughs at suitable intervals. As none of the sections which have been finished are of a considerable length, it has not yet seemed well to the commissioners to undertake tree planting or the construction of troughs. Preliminary inquiries have shown that it will be much less expensive to plant at once the borders of ten to fifteen miles of roadway, and to build a dozen or more watering troughs, than to deal in a piecemeal fashion with these undertakings.

Field and Laboratory Studies Of Road-Building Stones.

The work of inquiry concerning road-building stones in the Commonwealth, begun last year, has been continued during the present year. As will be seen by the tables, Appendix C, a considerable number of these materials have been subjected to careful inquiry. Owing to the fact that this undertaking has been carried on with the collaboration of the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University and the United States Geological Survey, the expense to the State has been less than one thousand dollars per year. This economy is made possible by the fact that the above named school provides a laboratory and the necessary machinery, and the power required in the work. The United States Geological Survey, for the reason that the work of collecting the samples of stone from the field was coincident with its own purposes, has paid, to the extent of eight hundred dollars, the cost of collecting and transporting the materials to the laboratory, the conditions of this help being that the federal survey shall have, coincidently with the commission, the benefit of the information acquired.

The system now adopted by the commission gives information not only concerning the hardness and toughness of the stone in question, but also constants as to the cementing and re-cementation of the dust, – points which are of very great importance in determining the utility of any variety of stone.

The work of stone testing is done in such a manner that when the study of the State is completed it will be possible to place the information in a short report with an accompanying map, the latter being so arranged that the locality, value, etc., of road-making materials can be at once ascertained.

Continuation Of Work.

In nearly all cases each piece of road which has been taken by the commission forms a part of an extended system. While the principal object of the commission has been at once to provide for the growing needs of better ways between neighboring cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth, in all cases it has considered how far the proposed road could be made to fit into a system which would afford main communications between the various parts of the Commonwealth. It is to be remembered that in no case can the commission originate the project for a road, it has only to consider the petitions for detached sections which may be brought to them by the county commissioners or by the municipal authorities; but in practically all instances it has been found possible to debate the question of the proposed way with the local authorities, and where necessary to make modifications of a project so that it might fit into the larger scheme. It is now clear that, to a much greater extent than at first seemed possible, the process of construction will in the end afford certain continuous east and west and north and south ways, so arranged that the larger cities may be united, and the local as well as the more extended travel of the Commonwealth accommodated with continuous good highways.

So far as possible the commission has endeavored to advise with applicants for State roads in such a manner that the proposed road might not only obtain the ends sought by the petitioners, but also help the conditions of communities which might lie on either side of the proposed route. Experience has shown that by inconsiderable modifications of plans such adjustments could often be made.

Looking forward, as it does, to a rapid development of the system of State ways, the commission is prepared, if so instructed, and if supported by a sufficient appropriation, speedily to extend from twelve to thirty of these main routes upon which construction has begun at one or more points. If it should be the pleasure of the Legislature to increase the appropriation by a large amount, it will be possible to extend these roads in a speedy and effective manner. With the one and one-half years' experience which it has gained in the work the commission feels that it is now in condition to expend in one year at least twice the amount allotted for its use by the last appropriation. It desires this statement to be understood not as a suggestion as to the sum which should be appropriated, but it would note that the proportionate amount of office and field expenses, which have to be paid by the commission, will diminish with each increase in the number of miles of construction accomplished in any one year.

Road Machinery.

At the outset of its undertakings the commission found much difficulty from the inadequate number of steam rollers which were to be had in this community and in the neighboring portions of the States upon its border for use on the roads it was constructing. In 1893 the total number of rollers which could be made available for such work was twentythree. At the present time, owing to the demand for their use on State highway work and to the enhancement of interest in road construction in general, which has been more or less due to the work of the commission, there are seventy rollers which may be reckoned as available.

It was evidently in view of the great cost of these necessary engines that the Legislature provided an act, approved June 5, 1895, that under certain conditions these road machines could be loaned to the towns. The commission was not informed concerning the proposed legislation; indeed, it knew nothing of it until it was approved. It should be noted that, while no distinct provision was made in the above-mentioned act for the purchase of these rollers, the law is so drawn that the commission has to pay for them out of the money appropriated for the construction of the roads. Moreover, it should be observed that the plan of loaning rollers to towns does not provide any method for their supervision or repair. It may furthermore be remarked that up to the present time but one town — Brookline — has called upon the commission for a roller. The application came after all the money appropriated had been allotted for the construction of roads; it was therefore beyond the power of the commission to comply with the request. It is likely, however, that several such demands would have been made had the authorities of certain towns not been informed as to the restrictions and limitations in the amount of road building which would arise in case the commission should have to pay for the machines. A roller called for under this act may be used for no more than thirty days each year; true economy dictates that it should be used for about two hundred days each year.

In view of these facts, the commission recommends that the provisions for loaning rollers to towns be not re-enacted. It makes this recommendation with the conviction that there is at present a sufficient number of rollers to do the required work, and that the cost of hiring these machines is now not excessive. It recommends, however, that the present law, · which allows the commission to purchase road-building machinery, be retained, with the further provision that machinery thus purchased by the commission may be let to local authorities upon conditions to be determined by the Board.

Appendix

Showing Method Of Laying Out and Constructing State Highways.

Before any action toward laying out and constructing a State highway can be taken by the commission, it is necessary that a petition, signed either by the selectmen of a town, the mayor and aldermen of a city or the county commissioners of a county in which the road lies, accompanied by a plan and profile prepared in accordance with the requirements of the commission, be filed in the Highway Commissioners' office.

Early in each year the commissioners determine upon which roads work shall be done during the remainder of the fiscal year. Plans are then prepared by the engineer and approved by the commission, showing the alignment and width of the road, together with the proposed grade; the policy of the commission being to reduce all grades wherever possible to a maximum of five feet to the hundred, and to establish such grades as will prevent the accumulation of water in depressions on the roadway.

After the project has been approved by the commission, the road is indicated on the ground by placing stakes on each side at intervals of fifty feet and at all points where the direction of the way is changed. Courses and distances are plotted on the plan, cross-sections are taken, and the quantities of the different items of construction are estimated.

A conference is then held between the city or town officials and the State commissioners, to determine whether or not a contract will be made with the commission by the municipality, and the prices at which the work shall be done. If the city or town authorities are willing to accept such prices as may be determined upon, a contract is then made with the municipality for the construction of the road. If the town or city officials are unwilling to take such a contract, the commission advertises the same, and the work is, after a comparison of the bids and the approval of the contract by the governor and council, let to the lowest responsible bidder.

In all competitive contracts the contractor gives two bonds, one for the faithful performance of the contract, the other to indemnify the town or city for any damage resulting from accidents during the construction of the road.

The road to be built having being staked and the grades marked on each stake, the town, city or private contractor is notified of the readiness of the commission to have the work begun. As soon as the town, city or private contractor gives notice that it is ready to proceed with the work, a resident engineer is detailed by the chief engineer to give all the lines and grades. He is also to look after the methods of construction, the quality of the material employed in construction, and to make a return of the labor and materials used, together with a monthly estimate of the quantities, and on the completion of the contract a final estimate of quantities and amounts to be paid to the contractor.

The resident engineer is expected to supervise the work during the entire time of construction; he must decide all cases in dispute, either on his own judgment or by order of the chief engineer.

The employment and the management of all labor and teams, the purchase of all material and the prices paid for both labor and material, are entirely in the hands of the contractor, whether municipal or other.

The first work in the construction of a road is necessarily the preparation of the surface for receiving the broken stone. Before any excavation or any other work can be begun, the trees and brush which would interfere with the progress of the work are removed to a point beyond the line of excavation or embankment. The progress of the work in many cases involves the excavation of considerable material in widening of the road bed, in the reduce tion of bills and in the elevation of embankments to the grades established by the commission, in raising the road bed above the level of swamps or freshets, and in changes at the intersections of roads or private driveways made necessary by the new grade.

When the road passes over soil of a gravelly nature, the road is, as far as possible, slapped by the use of this material to the established sub-grade line. Where the road passes over clay it has been the policy of the commission to excavate the roadway to a depth of sixteen inches below the line of the proposed finished grade, to cover this with gravel to the depth of four inches, and this in turn with coarse stone eight inches deep, laid by hand on edge and rolled with a steam roller, this stone being covered with broken stone. In some cases a layer of gravel twelve inches in depth has been used instead of the coarse stone, and this with good results.

Where loose sand has been met with, it has been customary to excavate the same from four to six inches below the sub-grade and refill to the sub-grade line with gravel. At Cottage City the sub-grade was excavated for four inches below the line of subgrade, and a layer of beach stone four inches in thickness spread over this surface for a width of fifteen feet. Upon this a layer of screenings was spread, and a steam roller passed over the same until it was thoroughly compacted. Upon several small sections of that road, where the sand met with was particularly troublesome, the sub-grade was carefully shaped, and a single thickness of cotton cloth placed over the surface so shaped, upon which screenings were spread and then the coarser broken stone. This gave a very satisfactory foundation, and made it possible for the steam roller to be advantageously used. Small sections of tarred paper were also tried in place of cloth, but the stones broke through the paper and rendered it useless. The cloth only served to prevent the broken stone being pressed into the road, and to hold the same until it was thoroughly compacted and the interstices filled from above; this will prevent any future settlement of the road.

At Nantucket, owing to the sandy nature of the soil and the expense of obtaining broken stone from some point on the mainland, with a long haul after it was landed on the island, the road was excavated three inches below the sub-grade, and this surface covered with three inches of screened gravel, which was thoroughly rolled, and covered with a broken limestone four inches deep after rolling.

Where loam is met with in the course of the work in the preparation of the road surface, it is excavated to a depth of one and one-half feet below the proposed finished grade, so as to afford place for one foot depth of gravel or other suitable material beneath the broken stone.

As a means of removing the water from clayey excavations, side drains are constructed after the following manner :-

The soil is first excavated to a depth of two and one-half to three feet below the proposed finished grade, and of a width sufficient to allow a five-inch glazed clay pipe with bell and spigot joint to be conveniently laid two or three inches below the bottom of the proposed pipe. Gravel is then spread on the bottom of this trench, and upon this material the pipes are laid, with open joints filled around with a medium fine gravel, free from sand. The trench is then refilled to sub-grade with screened gravel, or, when the gravel cannot be conveniently obtained, with broken stone.

Where ledge is met with, it is customary to excavate it so that six inches of gravel may be placed beneath the broken stone.

On all roads thus far constructed by the Board it has been necessary to rebuild most of the old culverts and also to construct many new ones, in order to protect the road from the washing action of surface water. Where stones of suitable quality are found convenient to the work, it is the custom of the commission to use them for this class of work. In cases where the quantity of water to be taken care of is small, twelve-inch vitrified pipe is laid, with masonry ends to protect it from breakage and to retain the road bed. On most of the culvert work the side walls and covering stones underneath the road bed are made of stones split or broken to give a fairly good surface, but on the ends of the culverts the stone has been cut or pointed, to give more durable and better-looking work. The latest specifications require that the stones shall have such a quality that no spalls shall be allowed or show on their faces.

On some of the roads, and notably on each section laid out in the town of Russell, on the Fairfield and on the Huntington ends, as the bank could not otherwise be held up, a large amount of retaining wall has been built. That in Russell has all been built from stone blasted out of ledge in the vicinity of the work, excepting a small piece near the Chapin & Gould Mills, where they were taken from an abandoned railroad abutment near the Russell station.

In Shelburne there is a long cut known in the vicinity as the “Dug Way,” on the top of which is a cemetery. In order to support these banks, a long section of retaining wall has been built of stone obtained from a quarry in Buckland, and hauled a distance of about three miles.

When stone bridges have been constructed, the commission has used rubble masonry laid in cement, care in all cases being taken to secure a good foundation, the excavation being made several feet below the bed of the stream, to prevent the undermining of the foundation by the action of the current. Ledge stone thoroughly bedded in cement is used for retaining walls and abutments, and the coping is of split stone. At Manomet, in Plymouth, where a stone arch is built, all the masonry is rubble excepting the parapet wall, where, on account of the thickness, and both faces showing, the stones were split to the width required, and the coping pointed on the edges roughly to line. At Russell, near the Fairfield Mills, stone from an old railroad abutment near Russell station, and also stone from the Monson quarries, was used on walls and sheeting for arch. The parapet walls and coping of this bridge were from the Monson quarries.

After the road has been graded to the lines and widths called for by the specifications and plans, the surface is shaped for the broken stone, in conformity with the section. This section is generally six inches below the finished grade in the centre and five inches on the sides. The steam roller is then run over the entire surface, and any depressions which occur are filled with gravel or other suitable material before the broken stone is spread.

The portion of the road bed next the cross-section, shaped for the broken stone or shoulder, is left about nine inches above the sub-grade, to prevent the broken stone being forced beyond lines, and to allow for settlement when it is rolled.

The surface of the road bed being all shaped, when trap rock is used, and where the broken stone used is considered sufficiently hard to resist the effects of the travel it is to receive, this stone is spread for a length of at least two hundred feet, for a depth of six inches, the pieces varying in size from two and one-half to one and one-quarter inches in their largest diameters. This layer is rolled by a steam roller until the stone ceases to “ crawl”under the roller, and is moderately well set; all depressions are filled with broken stone of the same sizes. Upon this a second layer, the fragments varying from one-half to one and one-quarter inches in their largest diameters, is spread for a depth of about three inches, and rolled as before until the stone is thoroughly set, all depressions being in turn filled with broken stone of the last-described sizes. For the third or finishing layer, screenings that have passed through a half-inch screen are spread for a depth of about one-half inch. The watering cart is then used until the surface is thoroughly wet, and the steam roller again passes over it until the surface is perfectly firm and smooth.

Where the broken stone is of a softer nature, it is spread in three layers, the first two layers being each about four and one half inches thick, varying in size from one-half to two and one-half inches in their largest diameters, and a third layer of screenings. The treatment is the same as above noted.

Where there is a supply of native stone which is not considered of sufficient hardness to withstand the effects of the travel the road will be likely to receive, in order to save expense the native stone, varying from one-half to two and one-half inches in the largest diameters, is spread on the road for a depth of six inches and thoroughly rolled. This serves as a foundation for the imported broken stone. Upon this a layer of trap rock is spread for a depth of three inches, and rolled until the stone is thoroughly set. The sizes of the broken stone used for this layer vary with the amount of travel the road is to receive. Where the travel is very heavy, the sizes vary from one and one-quarter to two and one-half inches in their largest diameters; where the travel is lighter, the variation in size is from one-half to one and one-half inches in their largest diameters. After the rolling of the three inch layer, trap rock screenings are spread to a depth of one-half inch. The watering cart and the steam roller are used as in the other cases. In order to prevent dust sticking to the rollers and picking the stone up, great care is necessary in the application of water. On the rolling of the second course the roller is passed over the shoulders to make them conform to the broken stone, and screenings are then spread over them, which are rolled at the same time as the last course. When Telford foundations are used, owing to the settlement of the Telford under the roller the same thicknesses of stone are generally necessary.

The steam roller in all cases should be so used as to roll the road first at the edges, gradually working to the centre.

On the greater number of the roads the hardened way has been made fifteen feet in width, but the tendency of travel has been to concentrate on one line, and consequently a track is worn near the centre of the stone. This depression being refilled with broken stone, the teams have to leave the track and pass over the surface on the other side, next the shoulder.

After all the broken stone has been rolled on the shoulders, and the section over the embankments is completed, whenever it is necessary, a fence, to serve as a guard rail, is constructed as follows: cedar or chestnut posts, set in the ground three feet deep, projecting three and one-half feet above it, are set within one foot of the edge of the embankment. On top of these posts a rail four inches square, of spruce or other suitable material, planed, is set in cornerwise. On the side of the post is a hub guard of two by six inch spruce, or other suitable wood, planed, and notched in each post and securely spiked on. All parts of the exposed surfaces are painted with two coats of best lead and oil. It is the policy of the commission to avoid the use of the guard rail whenever possible; and for this purpose, where the embankments are low, they are carried outwards with a slight slope.

After all the broken stone has been spread and the slopes smoothed through all the cuts, cobble gutters, three feet in width on the road bed and one foot on the slopes, conforming to it, are placed wherever the volume of water is so large that the road bed or the slopes would be severely washed without them.

After all the excavations required in reducing the grades or in widening the road bec are completed, and the slopes of all embankments are finished, it is the intention of the commissioners to cover them with loam and sow them with grass seed, in order to preserve the sides of the road from washing.

All brush, stones and other unsightly material, lying between the lines of location and the tops of the slopes, and also between the lines of location and the bottom of the slopes on the embankment, and all other places, are removed, and the road left in a neat and workmanlike condition.

Stone Monuments.

On both sides of the road, at all angles, at tangents on curves, and on all long, continuous straight lines, at intervals not exceeding one thousand feet, stone bounds are placed. These bounds are of granite, six feet in length, placed five feet in the ground, with the upper foot hammered, and marked with the letters “M. H. B.” (abbreviation for Massachusetts Highway Bound). Whenever these stone bounds would interfere with the public travel, they are so placed that the top shall be level with the surrounding surface.

Payments.

On or about the 15th of each month an estimate is made of the quantity of work done on each section of the road by the resident engineer in charge, who approves the same and then forwards it to the commission in triplicate. The estimates are then checked under the direction of the chief engineer, approved by him and afterwards by the commission. The estimates are then sent to the State auditor for his scrutiny, who forwards them to the governor and council for approval. About the first of the following month the State treasurer forwards to the immediate contractors the amount of money due them.

List Of Highways Constructed and Contracted For.

Below is given a list of highways constructed or contracted for by the commission, with a brief account of the same, and a statement as to the nature of the several constructions:-

Andover (Essex County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

The road taken in the town of Andover is a part of the main way from Lawrence to Boston, and has been constructed for a distance of about 3,000 feet, beginning at the Lawrence line. The town of Andover is the contractor. The car tracks of the electric railway, formerly located in the centre of location, have been removed to the side of the road.

The grades have been reduced on the hill. On account of the water accumulated on the long continuous grade, cobblestone gutters have been constructed between the broken stone and railway. · The surface of Macadam has been made 18 feet in width. For the lower or foundation course, broken stone, obtained by crushing the native rock, has been used, and upon this for the upper course trap rock from Salem has been placed. The natural soil of the roadway was loose sand. The maximum grade is 4.9 feet in 100. The cross-section provided for 6 inches of broken stone after rolling.

Ashby (Middlesex County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This road is a main way from Fitchburg to New Hampshire, and gives access to Massachusetts markets for a considerable portion of the population of the former State. The maintenance of this road was too great an expense for the town of Ashby to bear. One and three-fifths miles of this road have been laid out and constructed, the broken stone being from boulders. The quality of the material is not entirely satisfactory, but the great distance from a railway precludes the possibility of securing better at a reasonable cost. The town of Ashby was the contractor.

A portion of the road is covered with broken stone 18 feet in width, another portion is 20 feet in width and the remainder 15 feet in width, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The maximum grade is 5.6 feet in 100; it was necessary to relocate a portion of the road in order to obtain this grade. The cross-sections of the roadway provide for a thickness of 6 inches of broken stone after rolling. The foundation is of gravel spread on natural soil, which was clayey; some Telford construction was necessary.

Athol (Worcester County),

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a portion of the main north road through the State, other constructions on the same line being nt Fitchburg, Westminster, Lexington, Lincoln, Orange, Shelburne, Buckland, North Adams and Williamstown. One mile of this road has been laid out and partially built, joining immediately the portion laid out in the town of Orange. The town of Athol is the contractor.

The broken stone is from the Waltham quarries, the lower course of red granite and the upper course of trap rock, laid 17 feet in width, with a shoulder of gravel on each side 3 feet wide. The maximum grade is 4.5 feet in 100. The cross-sections of roadway provided for 6 inches of broken stone after rolling. The foundation is of gravel, of good quality. The tracks of the electric railway cross the roadway; this is made necessary by the town of Orange locating the track on the south side of the road. way and the town of Athol locating it on the north side.

Auburn (Worcester County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

The road petitioned for extends from Worcester to the Oxford line; the portion laid out commences at Dunu's Mills, about two miles from the Worcester line, and extends southerly. This is the main road connecting Worcester with Auburn, Oxford, Southbridge, Webster and adjoining towns. The broken stone used is trap rock from the West Springfield quarry. The town of Auburn is the contractor.

The Macadam is 15 feet in width, with a shoulder on each side 3 feet wide, composed of gravel. The original rond bed was narrow and over low land, and the grade being raised, borrowing of material from outside of location became a necessity. The maximum grade is 1.7 feet in 100. The cross-section provided for 6 inches of broken stone after rolling.

Beverly (Essex County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners.]

The road petitioned for is the main way from Boston, Lynn and Salem to Newburyport and the neighboring towns and cities. The portion laid out is from the Wenham lino southerly for about one and one-half miles toward the city. The city of Beverly is the contractor. Delay in contracting and in changing the location of the tracks of the electric railway has prevented any work being done on the road this year.

Brewster (Barnstable County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This road is a portion of the main way leading from Boston to Provincetown and the Cape. Other sections of the same road are laid out in Truro, Dennis, Yarmouth, and along the coastline of Plymouth County. One mile has been laid out, and is partially constructed. The town of Brewster is the contractor.

The Macadam is from boulders; it has a width of 15 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is sandy. Gravel of good quality was found near the easterly end of the section contracted for. A portion of the road being located upon clayey material, it was necessary to remove the clay and refill with gravel. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 3.36 feet in 100.

Buckland (Franklin County).

The first section was petitioned for by the county commissioners, the second section by the selectmen.

The first section laid out is from the railroad station at Shelburne Falls to the bridge leading to Shelburne over the Deerfield River. All the freight from the Deerfield and North River valleys is drawn to this station, no other piece of road in the county being subjected to such heavy and constant travel. A length of 800 feet was laid out and is completed. The second section laid out extended from a point near the lower end of the first section westerly toward Charlemont, Ashfield and the neighboring towns; about one-half mile is also completed. The town of Buckland took both contracts.

The broken stone used on both sections was trap rock from Waltham for the upper courses, and red granite from the same quarry for the lower courses. The width of Macadam on the first section was 18 feet near railroad and 24 feet at the end, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The second section has a width of 18 feet for the distance of 1,400 feet from the point of beginning, thence 15 feet to the end of the layout, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The gravel used on the first section was sandy, and was taken from the road bed; that used on the second section was taken from a pit, the average haul being one mile. The natural soil on the first section is a sandy gravel, and on the last section sandy, with some sections of hard-pan and boulders.

Surface drainage has been thoroughly provided for by a system of cobble gutters, catch-basins and vitrified pipe, and stone culverts draining to the Deerfield River. A retaining wall some 230 feet long was built at the lower end of first section, to preserve the road and prevent the banks from falling in upon the next lower road. In general, the road has been much improved by raising the grade and clearing the banks of underbrush.

The cross-section provides for a thickness of 6 inches of Macadam at the centre and 5 inches at the side after rolling. The maximum grade on the first section is 3.72 feet in 100, on the second section 4.33 feet in 100.

Cottage City (County Of Dukes County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners.]

This road connects Edgartown, the county seat, with Cottage City, the most populous community on the island, being one of the town ways imperatively requiring improvement. The towns connected had built a road at great expense, the grades of which did not require extensive adjustment, and constructed the required culverts and bridges, but were unable to incur the expense of the necessary surface. The road was permanently in bad condition. The mile laid out in 1894 is entirely finished; the second mile, laid out during the present year, is about half completed. The town of Cottage City is the contractor.

The broken stone is from the boulders of the vicinity, a portion of it being taken from the beach. The width of the hardened way on both sections is 15 feet, with 3 feet shoulders of broken stone in the first mile and screenings 2 inches in thickness on the second mile. On the first section the natural soil was of very loose sand, and a layer of beach stones 4 inches in depth was first spread as a foundation, covered with screenings and rolled with a steam roller. On several small sections the sand was first covered with cotton cloth, screenings spread over same and then beach stones used as above, with very satisfactory results. On the second section the sand was covered with loam, and broken stone used as in ordinary construction, no beach stone being required. The cross-section provided for a depth of 6 inches of stone when rolled. The maximum grade is 4 feet in 100.

Dalton (Berkshire County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a part of the main road leading east from Pittsfield. It connects with the sections petitioned for in Windsor, Cummington, Goshen and Williamsburg, connecting Pittsfield with Northampton. A little over one mile has been laid out, beginning at the Pittsfield line and extending easterly. A large portion of this work is completed. The town of Dalton is the contractor.

The broken stone is trap rock from the quarry at West Springfield. The width of the hardened way is 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder of good quality on each side 3 feet in width. Small sections of clayey material were removed in the course of the work, and Telford, with gravel foundation, used. Cobble gutters, with catch-basins, were necessary because of the long, continuous grade. The cross-section provided for 6 inches of stone in the centre and 5 inches on the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 6 feet in 100.

Deerfield (Franklin County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners.]

This road is the main way connecting Sunderland and the adjoining towns with the Boston & Maine Railroad at South Deerfield, at the bridge over the Connecticut River. The worst section of the road, something over one-half mile in length, has been completed. The town of Deerfield is the contractor.

The broken stone is trap rock from the quarry near Greenfield. The width of the hardened way is 15 feet, with a shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. Disintegrated sandstone located about midway on this section was used for gravel. A portion of this road has a Telford foundation, another portion has gravel over the natural soil. The cross-section provided for a depth of 6 inches of Macadam at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 5.2 feet in 100.

Dennis (Barnstable County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is another section of the main “ Cape” road, being a continuation of the Yarmouth North road, extending from the Yarmouth line northward. One mile has been laid out. The town was unwilling to commence construction, owing to the difficulty in obtaining stone for breaking during the summer months. Stone is now being delivered at the site of the proposed section. The town of Dennis is the contractor.

Duxbury (Plymouth County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a portion of the “South Shore ” road, leading from Boston to Provincetown, other constructions on the same line of road being at Weymouth, Hingham, Scituate, Marshfield, Plymouth and in parts of Barnstable County. The sandy nature of the road surface made it very difficult to keep this road in good condition. One-half mile of this road was laid out from the Marshfield line in 1894, which, together with a somewhat longer section laid out this year, was completed during the summer season. The town of Duxbury was the contractor.

Broken stone obtained by crushing boulders has been used. The hardened way is 15 feet in width, with a shoulder of sandy gravel covered with screenings 3 feet wide on each side. The cross-section provided for a depth of 6 inches of broken stone at centre and 5 inches at the side after rolling. The maximum grade is 3.6 feet in 100.

Easthampton (Hampshire County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners and Selectmen.]

This is the main road leading from Easthampton and surrounding towns to Northampton. The section laid out extends from the Northampton line towards the Manhan River, and is very nearly completed. The town of Easthampton is the contractor.

The broken stone is trap rock, “jingle stone” from Mount Tom, and has a width of 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The stone is hauled about three miles. The road surface was composed of a large proportion of clay, which made the road impassable to ordinary travel for two months in the spring. Gravel of a sandy quality, found about three-quarters of a mile from the road, has been used over clay and other poor material. Telford has been used through clay cuts, and side drains have been put in where necessary. Cross-sections provided for a depth of 6 inches of stone at the centre and 5 inches at sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 4 feet in 100.

Fairhaven (Bristol County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This road is the main line of travel for Fall River and New Bedford to the “Cape” district, and a part of the road on which constructions are in progress in Marion and Mattapoisett in Plymouth County. One mile was laid out in 1894 and about one half mile in 1895, the first layout beginning at the Mattapoisett line. Both sections are completed. The town of Fairhaven was the contractor.

Broken field stone is used, and is laid 15 feet in width, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is sandy, overlying clay. Gravel of good quality, hauled for a distance of about one mile, is used. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of Macadam at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 2.84 feet in 100.

Fitchburg (Worcester County).

[Petitioned for by the Mayor and Aldermen.]

This is a section of the north road through the State, other constructions on the same line of road being at Lincoln, Lexington, Westminster, Athol, Orange, Buckland, Shelburne, North Adams and Williamstown, continuing the main way leading up the Deerfield River. The section laid out in 1894 was the first piece of State highway in the State to be completed and accepted. The second section, owing to delay on the part of the city in beginning the work of construction, is not quite finished. The original layout began at the Westminster line and extended towards the city proper, the second layout being a direct continuation of the first. The city of Fitchburg is the contractor.

The broken stone used on both sections is trap rock from W: tham. The width of the Macadam is 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder of 3 feet on each side. The natural soil is a fair quality of gravel; the gravel used on the shoulders is obtained within the limits of location. The cross-section provides for a thickness of 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at each side after rolling. The maximum grade is 6 feet in 100.

Gloucester (Essex County).

[Petitioned for by the Mayor and Aldermen.]

This is a part of the highway following the north shore of Massachusetts Bay. One mile of the road, beginning at the Manchester line, has been completed. The original location being narrow, the city of Gloucester laid out the way 50 feet in width, and assumed all land damago before the commission accepted the road. The city of Gloucester is the contractor.

The broken stone is from boulders. The hardened way is 15 feet in width, with a gravel shoulder 8 feet wide on each side. The natural soil at the Manchester line is sandy, but for the greater part of the section built it is a mixture of clay and boulders, making excavation expensive. Gravel of good quality was taken from a pit, the average haul to the road being one and one half miles. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 5 feet in 100.

Goshen (Hampshire County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners and Selectmen.]

This is a portion of the main way from Northampton to Pittsfield, and the main way from the Connecticut valley through the hill towns of Hampshire and Berkshire counties, the road which gives access to that part of the Commonwealth most remote from railway communication. The road in this town was perhaps the most difficult piece of work of the kind in the State. To reduce the grade from about 12 per cent. to less than 5 per cent., it was necessary to relocate the route for a portion of the distance, and to do extensive grading on difficult ground. That portion of the road laid out in 1894 is completed. The town of Goshen is the contractor.

Broken local stone was used. That used on the first section being unsatisfactory, selected stone was used in the construction of the second section. The width of the hardened way is 15 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. Gravel of a fair quality, found about 500 feet from the road and about 1,000 feet from the beginning of the first section, was used for about three-fourths of a mile both under the Telford and for the shoulders. For the rest of the way, as no other was to be found, very sandy gravel has been used, taken from a pit near the end of the first section. Owing to the character of the soil, which is of clay and hard-pan, Telford foundation and side drains were necessary, and the long continuous grades required cobble gutters. Nearly two miles of this road are now completed, extending from the Williamsburg line. The construction of this road has made it possible to nearly double the weight of loads traversing it. The cross-section provided for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 5 feet in 100.

Granby (Hampshire County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners and Selectmen.]

This is a part of the north and south main road which connects Granby with the other towns on the east side of the Connecticut River with Holyoke. About two-thirds of a mile has been laid out and completed. The town of Granby was the contractor.

Broken stone from Salem was used, which was hauled in the winter, stacked on the side of the road and put on the surface in the early summer. In the judgment of the selectmen, hauling would be impossible on the old road during the spring.

The width of broken stone is 15 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. Owing to the clayey nature of the soil, it was necessary to use a Telford foundation over gravel, through all cuts and excavations; over the ordinary surface, the embankments were raised with gravel. Side drains were also used. The gravel was loose and sandy, and was taken from a pit beside the road about 2,000 feet from the beginning of the section. The superstructure of the bridge over Stony Brook has been rebuilt with hard-pine stringers, hard-pine undertlooring and chestnut planking for the wearing surfaces. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone after rolling. The maximum grade is 2.7 feet in 100.

Great Barrington (Berkshire County).

[Petitioned for jointly by the County Commissioners and Selectmen.]

This is a portion of the road running south-easterly toward Monterey. One mile has been laid out and completed. The town of Great Barrington is the contractor.

The broken stone used was trap rock from the Meriden, Conn., quarries. A portion of the hardened way is 18 feet in width, the remainder 15 feet wide, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil was gravel and a sandy loam, and near the end of the section some hard-pan was met with. Nearly all of the gravel used was from excavation on the road, a very small portion being taken from a pit near it, which was of a very fair quality. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches on the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 2.7 feet in 100.

Hadley (Hampshire County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners and Selectmen.]

This is a part of the main road from Northampton to Amherst and surrounding towns. As the road bed was formerly subjected to overflow during the flood times of the Connecticut River, the grade was raised several feet for quite a distance. Two sections of the road were laid out, both completed, the construction of both sections being carried on together. The town of Hadley is the contractor.

The broken stone is trap rock from the Deerfield quarry. The width of the Macadam is 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is a sandy loam ; this material was used for raising the road bed, being taken from a borrow pit about 500 feet from the road, near the beginning of the section. The gravel is from the shores of the Connecticut River, is very sandy, with small stones, and is hauled an average distance of one mile. Portions of the road, subject to erosion by the overflow of the Connecticut River, have been protected by riprap on the slopes. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches on the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 4 feet in 100.

Hancock (Berkshire County).

[Petitioned for jointly by the County Commissioners and Selectmen.]

This is the principal road leading over the mountains from Pittsfield to the New York State line. The difficulties of travel, the heavy grades and the general unsatisfactory location of the old road led the commissioners to lay out a new road through land of the Shaker community, which was given by the society ; this new location was extended for about one mile, securing better grades, and, in general, more favorable conditions. The location is 50 feet wide, and is a direct continuation of the main highway in the city of Pittsfield. As the town of Hancock waived its right to contract under the provisions of the Public Statutes, the work was advertised for public competition. Hendrick, Taylor & Warner of Northampton, being the lowest bidders, secured the contract for the grading of the road. This grading is nearly completed. The maximum grade is 5 feet in 100.

Hingham (Plymouth County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is another section of the “ South Shore" road, leading from Boston to the Cape district. One and one-half miles have been completed on this contract. The town of Hingham is the contractor.

Gravel from a pit near Weymouth Back River is the material used, it being screened before being placed on the road. A steam roller was used in the construction of the road for finishing the surface. One section of this road, about 900 feet in length, where clay was met with, was excavated to the depth of 24 feet for a width of 12 feet, and refilled with loose stone screened at the gravel pit, for a depth of 22 inches, the same being covered with gravel 8 inches in thickness. About 300 feet of the slope of the embankment near the Weymouth Back River were covered with stone screened from the gravel to protect the banks from the encroachments of the tidal water. About 200 feet of the road bed, being of a sandy material, were removed to a depth of 1 foot, and refilled with gravel. The cross-section provided for 20 feet of roadway. The maximum grade is 5 feet in 100.

Holbrook-Weymouth (Norfolk County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

The road laid out in these two towns leads easterly from Holbrook toward Plymouth and the main road along the “ South Shore.” As neither town wished to undertake the contract for the portion of the road within its territory, public bids for the construction of the same were invited. As a portion of this road is through a swamp, it seemed wise to grade the road this season, and note the result of the action of the frost upon the fill before putting on broken stone. Mr. W. T. Dayis of Boston was the successful bidder, and took the contract. The grading is now completed. The road extends for about one-half mile in Holbrook westerly from the Weymouth line, and from the Holbrook line through Weymouth to the Abington line. The maximum grade is .68 foot in 100.

Holden (Worcester County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is an important intertown way, connecting the city of Worcester with the towns on the north. Two sections have been laid out, both of which are completed. The town of Holden was the contractor.

The Macadam is from broken fieldstone. On the first section it is 18 feet wide for a portion of the way, the remainder of the distance and the entire portion of the second section being 15 feet wide, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is sandy loam and gravel. The gravel used on the first section was taken from a pit beside the road, the average haul being one half mile. On the second section it was taken from a pit near the beginning of the layout; the average haul was one-fourth of a mile. The gravel was sandy and stony, and of a fair quality. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 5 feet in 100.

Huntington (Hampshire County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a portion of the important road leading up the Westfield valley from Springfield to Pittsfield. The portion laid out extended from the Russell line for about two-thirds of a mile, of which about 2,000 feet are completed. The town of Huntington is the contractor.

Trap rock from West Springfield is the broken stone used, the width of the same being 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The gravel used is from the side of the road at the beginning of the section, and some has also been taken from a borrow pit near the centre of the layout, and about 500 feet distant from the road. As a portion of this road bed was subject to overflow from the Westfield River during freshets, the grade was raised above the line of overflow. The cross-section provides for a thickness of 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 3.36 feet in 100.

Lee (Berkshire County).

[Petitioned for jointly by the County Commissioners and Selectmen.]

This is a part of the way which connects Lee, Tyringham, Becket and Chester with Springfield by way of Huntington. The original layout was one mile in length and the extension about one-half mile. Both sections are now completed. The town of Lee was the contractor.

On the first section the broken stone was of a local quartzite. It was found necessary, however, to cover the local stone with a coating of trap rock from the Meriden quarry, the second section being entirely of this latter class of stone. The Macadam for a portion of the distance is 21 feet in width, the remainder of this section and all of the second section being 15 feet wide, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side for the entire length of both sections. The soil of the whole road bed was gravel, covered with broken limestone by the town, in the endeavor to obtain a better road. The gravel used is from a pit, about three-fourths of a mile average haul, situated about 300 feet from the road. Gravel taken from excavation in the road bed has also been used. A wooden bridge over a brook discharging into the Housatonic River, built of wooden stringers and planked over, being in poor condition, was entirely removed, the abutments of the new bridge being laid up of limestone, and the superstructure being of iron beams, brick arches, levelled on top with cement concrete and with an asphalt wearing surface. Near the end of the second section it was necessary to build a retaining wall for about 200 feet in order to protect the road. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 3.6 feet in 100.

Leicester (Worcester County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a part of the main highway leading from Worcester to Springfield, and is perhaps the most important road leading into the city of Worcester. The portion constructed lies in the village of Cherry Valley in the town of Leicester, extending to the main village of the town from the Worcester line. Two miles have been laid out and completed. The town of Leicester was the contractor.

The first section constructed was built of broken native field stone, but the heavy traffic soon showed that the material used is not of sufficiently good quality, and consequently the remainder of the first section and all of the second section were constructed with a lower course of broken native stone and an upper course of broken trap rock from West Springfield. The size of the latter varies from 1.25 to 2.5 inches, this size being used on account of the heavy travel.

The width of the broken stone varies from 24 to 18 feet on the first section, and is 18 feet wide for the entire length of the second section, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on the north side of the road.

The gravel is hauled from a large bed deposited about one-half mile from the Worcester line at the time of the breaking away of the Mill Brook Reservoir. Owing to the nature of the soil, which is clayey and hard-pan, a large portion of the way has been laid on Telford foundation. The tracks of the electric railway, being placed without reference to line or grade, were all relocated to conform to the lines and grades established by the commission.

A bridge of 16 feet span has been constructed on the road. The abutments are of rubble masonry laid in cement. The superstructure is of iron beams with brick arches between, the arches being covered with cement concrete. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches on the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 5.16 feet in 100.

Lexington (Middlesex County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a part of the main road leading from Boston to Fitchburg. The road begins at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Middle Street, and proceeds along the latter way to the Lincoln town line. The town of Lexington is the contractor.

A very good quality of stone, much of it trap rock, was found along the line of road, which has been broken by the town, the authorities having purchased a rock breaker and a steam roller. The width of broken stone is 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side, excepting a distance of about 500 feet from where Middle Street connects with Massachusetts Avenue, where the road bed is shaped to the sidewalks. The gravel used is from within the limits of the location, and is a good quality of “ blue gravel.” The street being narrow before it was accepted by the commission, it was widened to a uniform width of 50 feet, the town authorities securing releases from all claims for damages against the Commonwealth, the commission making an allowance for the removal and rebuilding of walls. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 5.16 feet in 100.

Lincoln (Middlesex County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is another section of the road leading from Boston to Fitchburg, other petitions on the same line having been received from Lexington, Concord and Acton. This road is much travelled by the farmers from Acton, Concord, Littleton and other towns in that section, to find a market for their crops in the city of Boston. One mile has been laid out and completed. The town of Lincoln is the contractor.

Local stone of fair quality has been broken by the town and used on the road. The width of broken stone is 15 feet, with a 3 foot gravel shoulder on each side, for a length of about 3,100 feet, and 2 inches of broken stone over the 3 foot shoulder for the remaining length. The road bed was narrow, and was widened and the bed raised. Springs required a small section near the middle of the layout to be built with a Telford foundation, and made side drains necessary. The gravel used was sandy and was hauled a distance of about one-half mile. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone after rolling. The maximum grade is 4.25 feet in 100.

Marion (Plymouth County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This road, like the Mattapoisett and Fairhaven roads, is a part of the highway leading from Fall River and New Bedford to the Cape, and the conditions met with in construction are much the same in them all. A section one mile in length was laid out in 1894, and this portion, together with a half-mile laid out during the present year, has been practically completed. The section selected for construction lies between the towns of Marion and Wareham, and reaches from near the former village nearly to the end of the bridge leading to Wareham. The town of Marion is the contractor.

Broken local stone is used, the width of same being 15 feet for the entire distance, with gravel shoulders 3 feet wide on each side. The gravel used is hard-pan. It was very expensive to excavate, the average haul being about one-half mile. The road for a distance of about 3,000 feet passed over a swamp, and the road bed as found had but a few inches of gravel over the natural soil. It was necessary to raise the level of the way over the entire distance. The town of Marion purchased a stone crusher and a steam roller, and crushed the stone used on the road, which is a soft granite. The cross-section provides 6 inches of broken stone after rolling. The maximum grade is 5 feet in 100.

Marshfield (Plymouth County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is another section of what is called the “South Shore” road, and adjoins the portion of State highway built in the town of Duxbury. This road was completed early in the spring. The town of Marshfield was the contractor.

Local stone was broken for use on the road, the width of same being 15 feet, with a 3 foot shoulder of gravel on each side. The natural soil was a sandy loam. The gravel used was taken from various places where indications seemed to promise better gravel than that being used, but it all proved to be loose and sandy. The average haul was about one-third of a mile. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches on the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 4.6 feet in 100.

Mattapoisett (Plymouth County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This road is a part of the highway from the cities of New Bedford and Fall River to the Cape district, and is one of the natural ways which skirt the coastline of the Commonwealth. The testimony showed a very large amount of summer travel and also a considerable amount of traffic between the farmers and the market town of New Bedford. A portion of this road was laid out and work commenced in 1894. This year the work begun in 1894 bas been completed, and another layout made, completing the road from near the village of Mattapoisett to the Fairhaven line. No grade changes of any moment were required. The town of Mattapoisett is the contractor.

The town owning a crusher and a steam roller, native stone largely from gravel pits was broken and used on the road. The Macadam is 15 feet in length, the shoulders of gravel 3 feet in width on each side. The natural soil is a sandy loam ; the gravel, of good quality, hauled about three-quarters of a mile. The bridge over the Mattapoisett River being in poor condition, the abutments and the retaining wall connecting them have been rebuilt with rubble masonry laid in cement. The superstructure of the bridge is of iron beams with brick arches between ; these arches are covered with cement concrete so as to conform to the section ; the surface is to be of asphalt. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at sides. The maximum grade is 4.25 feet in 100.

Middleborough (Plymouth County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is on the line of the main road leading from Middleborough toward the base of the Cape, and affords a path of exit for a con. siderable district which has no railroad facilities. The town of Rochester, adjoining the town of Wareham, has petitioned for an extension of this road to connect with the way through Marion, Mattapoisett and Fairhaven. This road is the main way leading from the principal towns and cities in the adjoining territory to the seaside resorts on the Cape, and has a great amount of traffic in the summer season, it being a custom of the people to go in large numbers to the shore, and bring their household effects over the road rather than to convey them by rail. About one and one third miles have been completed during the present season. The town of Middleborough is the contractor.

Local field stone is broken and used, the crusher being owned by the town, which has also purchased a steam roller. The width of Macadam is 15 feet, with a 74 foot gravel shoulder on each side. The natural soil is a sandy loam. Gravel of good quality was found adjoining the location of the road on both sections of the road built. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 2.9 feet in 100.

Monson (Hampden County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a part of the old road leading from the important town of Palmer to the Connecticut line. About one mile has been laid out and completed. The town of Monson is the contractor.

Broken trap rock from a local quarry has been used in the construction of the road, the quality being very good. The width of the Macadam is 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is a sandy gravel. The gravel is loose, sandy and stony, and is taken from a bank near the northerly end of the section built. One important effect has been noted since the completing of the work, and that is, the great interest taken by this town in the extension of permanent work on the local roads. The construction of several pieces of important town ways is being considered by the townspeople, and some of these have already been constructed. The cross-section provided for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 2.95 feet in 100.

Nantucket (Nantucket County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners and Selectmen.]

Owing to the small area and population of this county, there is but one road which under existing conditions is likely to be made a State highway, viz., that which extends from the village of the name across the island to the settlement known as Siasconset, and termed the Mile Stone Road. This road, on account of the sandy nature of the soil, has been in bad condition since its use began. It is the most direct means of communication between the two settlements of the county. About two and one-half miles of this way have been laid out, two miles of which have been completed. The town of Nantucket is the contractor.

Broken limestone from the Hudson River has been used almost entirely so far on the work. A small section of trap rock surfacing has been put on some 800 feet in length, for the purpose of testing the comparative value of this material with limestone and native stone. The width of the Macadam is 15 feet, with a shoulder of screened gravel stones 3 feet wide on each side. Owing to the expense of importing road materials, the town of Nantucket bas purchased a crusher, and broken native stone will be used on future work. The soil, being loose and sandy, was excavated, and gravel stones obtained from screened gravel found under the surface from 1 to 3 feet are filled in to a depth of 3 inches and rolled for a foundation. On the north side of the embankment at Barnard's valley it was necessary to sod the slope, owing to the washing during rain storms. The cross section for first mile provided for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on the side, but now provides for 4 inches after rolling. The maximum grade is 3.2 feet in 100.

Norfolk (Norfolk County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is another section of the main line from Boston to Providence, other sections having been laid out and now under construction or completed in Norwood, Walpole, Wrentham and North Attleborough. All the road in Norfolk was laid out. This is one of the cases where the work is being done by private contractors, the town deciding not to undertake the contract. Messrs. Hendrick, Taylor & Warner were the successful bidders for the work. The commission determined, on account of the lateness of the season when the work was entered upon, only to grade this road during the year, leaving the Macadamizing for another season. A large portion of the grading has been completed. The maximum grade is 5.3 feet in 100.

North Attleborough (Bristol County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a part of the main way from Boston to Providence. Other portions have been constructed in Norfolk County. The road has a large intertown traffic, and the cost of repairs to the town, owing to the extensive use of the road by other communities, was a considerable burden. Over one and one-half miles of this road have been constructed. The town of North Attleborough is the contractor.

The broken stone used is from local boulders. A portion of this road has Macadam for a width of 24 feet, another section 18 feet, but the greater part has a width of 15 feet. The shoulders are finished down to the gutters on one side of the first section and to the railroad tracks on the other; on the second section shoulders of gravel 3 feet wide have been put in on each side. The material found in the road bed was a good quality of gravel, placed there as the former road bed by the town, and this was used for finishing on the first section. On the second section, gravel was taken from a pit beside the road. The tracks of the electric railway, being placed without reference to the location line of the street, were changed to conform to the lines and grades established by the commission ; but in some places, the changes of grade being in charge of the town, the grade does not yet conform to these requirements. The cross-section provided for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on the sides of the way. The maximum grade is 3.6 feet in 100.

North Adams (Berkshire County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners.]

This is a section of the northern east and west road of the State ; other sections of the same road on the east side of the mountains are those mentioned elsewhere extending south-easterly and westerly from Fitchburg. The town of North Adams is the contractor.

The broken stone is trap rock from the Waltham quarries, the width being 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet in width on each side. The natural soil is a loose, fine sand, excepting about 100 feet at the Williamstown line, which is clayey. The gravel, hauled about one-half mile, was of good quality, but stony. The floor of the arch culvert was repaired and the faces rebuilt. One boiler iron culvert was replaced by a stone culvert. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at tie sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 1.5 feet in 100.

Northampton (Hampshire County).

[Petitioned for by the Mayor and Aldermen.]

This is a part of the main way leading from Northampton through Hadley to Amherst and adjoining towns. Over one-half mile was laid out and is completed. The city of Northampton was the contractor.

The broken stone was furnished by the city from their local supply. The Macadam is 20 feet in width, with a shoulder on each side of the road composed of broken stone 3 inches in thickness. The stone used was rather soft, and pot of the best quality for road-building purposes. The natural soil is very sandy, and through some sections it was necessary to use tailings for a foundation for the Macadam. No gravel was used on this section, the expense of obtaining it prohibiting its use. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 1.25 feet in 100.

Norwood (Norfolk County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a section of the Boston-Providence road, and extends from Ellis station southerly toward the Walpole line. About two thirds of a mile has been laid out. The town of Norwood is the contractor.

Field stone of very good quality used. The width of the hardened way is 15 feet, with a 3 foot shoulder of gravel on each side. The natural soil is a sandy loam. The gravel used is sandy and stony, and was handled about one mile. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches on the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 3.5 feet in 100.

Orange (Franklin County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners and Selectmen.]

This is a section of the important east and west way in the northern portion of the State, and is a direct continuation of the Athol road. The town of Orange is the contractor.

The broken stone for the lower course of this road is local stone, the upper two courses trap rock from the Waltham quarries. The Macadam is 17 feet wide, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet in width on each side. The natural soil is very sandy. This work has been much delayed, owing to the difficulty of obtaining the trap rock for the upper courses. About one and one-half miles have been laid out, but only about 1,000 feet have been completed. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches on each side. The maximum grade is 5 feet in 100.

Paxton (Worcester County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a section of the old stage road leading from Worcester to Barre and Athol, and leads through a country many miles of which are devoid of railroad facilities. Construction was commenced at the Worcester line, and two miles have been completed. The town of Paxton is the contractor.

Local field stone was broken and used. The width of the Macadam is 15 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is a sandy loam on part of the way, with a subsoil of a clayey material on the remainder. The gravel used was taken from a pit beside the road about three-fourths of a mile from the Worcester line, and was of fair quality. All the grades on this section have been reduced to a minimum of five per cent. Owing to the clayey material over which the road lies, Telford and side drains have been necessary on much of the way. The long continuous grades have required a considerable length of cobble gutters. The cross-section provides for a thickness of 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches on each side. The maximum grade is 5 feet in 100.

Pittsfield (Berkshire County).

[Petitioned for by the Mayor and Aldermen]

This is a part of the central east and west way of the State. Other sections have been noted in describing the Dalton, Huntington, Russell, Westfield, West Springfield, Wilbraham and Leicester roads. This section extends from the Hancock line, at West Pittsfield, toward the city, and is directly connected with the road now being graded in the town of Hancock for a way over the mountains to the New York State line. One mile of this road has been completed. The city of Pittsfield was the contractor.

Trap rock from the West Springfield quarries was used. The width of the Macadam is 15 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet in width at each sile. The natural soil is of gravel, and gravel for the shoulders was taken from a pit belonging to the Shaker community, situated just outside the limits of the roadway, and about a quarter of a mile from the Hancock line. Owing to the excavation made in front of the East Family Shakers' buildings, it was necessary to provide a new driveway to reach the buildings, and also to regrade the bank between the roadway and driveway, as well as to lower the fence in front of the buildings. The cross section provides for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre of roadway and 5 inches on each side after rolling. The maximum grade is 4.25 feet in 100.

Plymouth (Plymouth County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a portion of the main highway from Boston to Province. town, leading along the shore. The sandy nature of the road has made it very difficult to maintain. One mile was laid out in 1894 and about one-half mile this season, both sections being completed. The town of Plymouth was the contractor.

The broken stone is local field stone. The width of the Macadam is 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet in width on each side. The natural soil is a light, sandy loam. The gravel used, outside of that found within the location, was taken from the town pit, the average haul being one-third of a mile. On the second section, owing to the sharp bend in the road at the brook, it was deemed advisable to better the same by a curve, and, as this would require an extension of the existing bridge, which had stone abutments with wooden stringers and plank flooring, the commission decided to remove it, and build a stone arch bridge with parapet walls. On the hill in front of the church, where the reduction of the grade caused the cut already existing to be increased seven and one-half feet, the cut has been widened at the top, so as to give a slope of two to one. This slope has been covered with loam and sown with grass seed. The cross-section provides for a thickness of 6 inches of broken stone at the centre of the location and 5 inches on each side after rolling. The maximum grade is 5 feet in 100.

Rehoboth (Bristol County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is the main way leading from Taunton to Providence, and is the route followed in reaching, these markets by the farmers of Rehoboth, Dighton and a part of Swansea. This town is without railroad facilities, and the highway connections with the surrounding towns are very poor, offering no accommodation or convenience to the farming districts. The roads to Taunton, Fall River and Providence, the market towns, are in wretched condition. One mile of State road has been laid out, and the greater portion completed. The town of Rehoboth is the contractor.

Field stone was broken and used. The width of Macadam is 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is a sandy loam. The gravel used is hauled from a pit rear the easterly end of the location. The original width of the road bed being very narrow, much borrowing from the cuts in order to get the full width on embankments was required. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on each side after rolling. The maximum grade is 3.2 feet in 100.

Russell (Hampden County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners.]

This is one of the most important sections of the way leading up the Westfield valley from Springfield to Pittsfield. Two sections have been laid out and completed, one section leading from the Huntington line easterly for about one mile, the other section being in the village of Fairfield; of this about one and one-half miles have been constructed. The town of Russell took the contracts.

The width of the broken stone, which was trap rock from the West Springfield quarry, was 15 feet in each section, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet in width on each side. The natural soil at the beginning of the road at Fairfield was clayey, and at the upper end gravelly. The gravel found was of good quality, stony, and the average haul was three-fourths of a mile. On the Huntington end the greater part of the natural surface was of gravel of good quality, sufficiently abundant for use on the road. At the Fairfield end, near the Cosby House, at the beginning of the road, it was necessary to excavate for some distance into the ledge on one side of the road, to ease the abrupt turn existing there. About 800 feet from the end was a clay bank which slid down and covered the road after every rain; this was secured in its place by the erection of a retaining wall. About 2,000 feet from the beginning of the road the old town way was laid at a higher level, so near the State road as to require another section of retaining wall, to prevent the caving in of that old road upon the new. A section of Telford was put in the roadway, and side drains placed adjoining these walls. A large boulder about 15 feet in height was blasted out to avoid an abrupt turn in the road about one-half mile from the beginning of the section.

Near the Fairfield Mills, the original bridge, a wooden bridge with a plank roadway, was removed, and a stone arch with a 15 foot span, with stone parapet walls, was built. Many culverts were necessary on this end on account of the road being built or located on a side hill, which caused a large volume of water to overfill the gutters and flow over the road during a heavy rain.

At the Huntington end the road bordered the Westfield River, and it was thought best to excavate into the bank away from the river, rather than to secure the river banks by a large amount of retaining wall.

The cross-section provides in both cases for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on both sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 5 feet in 100.

Scituate (Plymouth County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This section of the road is a continuation of the roads elsewhere mentioned leading along the “ South Spore.” Something over a mile has been laid out, but is not yet completed. The town of Scituate is the contractor.

The broken stone used is procured from the North Cohasset quarry. The width of the Macadam is 15 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is a sandy loam, with many boulders underlying, making it expensive to excavate. The gravel used is taken from within the limits of the location. The cross-section provides for a thickness of 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 6 feet in 100.

Shelburne (Franklin County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners and Selectmen.]

This is the main town way, connecting with the Buckland road, and giving access to the towns of Colrain, Heath and some of the towns of southern Vermont to the Shelburne Falls railroad station. About three-fourths of a mile was laid out in 1894, and another section of about the same length during this season, both of which have been completed. The town of Shelburne was the contractor.

Hard boulders obtained from the bed of the Deerfield River were broken and used. The width of Macadam is 18 feet on the first section and 15 feet on the second, with a shoulder of broken stone 3 feet wide and 2 inches thick. The broken stone was used in the shoulders, for the reason that no suitable gravel was obtainable. To provide for the water on the first section several catch-basins were constructed and connected with the sewer constructed by the town. Near the end of the first section a retaining wall was necessary in order to support the road where it skirted the bank of the Deerfield River. In another place known as the “Dug Way” a long section of retaining wall was necessary in order to support the high banks, a cemetery being located at the top of this bank, and the conditions being such as would not permit the bank to be given a natural slope. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre with 5 inches on the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 1.5 feet in 100.

Shrewsbury (Worcester County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a part of a main road leading from Worcester to Boston, other sections on the line of this road having been petitioned for in Northborough, Marlborough, Sudbury, Wayland and Watertown. One mile of road was laid out. The work was begun too late and cold weather compelled the closing of the construction when the contract was about half completed. The town of Shrewsbury is the contractor.

The broken stone is procured by breaking the local stone. The width of the Macadam is 18 feet, with a 3 foot gravel shoulder on each side. The natural soil is a sandy loam. The gravel is obtained from a pit adjacent to the road about midway its length. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on each side after rolling. The maximum grade is 4.1 feet in 100.

Somerset (Bristol County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a part of the important way between Fall River and Taunton, other sections having been petitioned for in Dighton and Taunton. About seven-eighths of a mile is laid out and is now partially completed. The town of Somerset is the contractor.

Field stone was broken and used. The width of the Macadam is 15 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is a sandy loam. The gravel has been taken from a pit about 500 feet from the road, an average haul of about one half mile. Before construction was begun, it was necessary that the car tracks of the electric railway should be changed to conform to the alignment and grades adopted by the commission. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on each side after rolling. The maximum grade is 3 feet in 100.

Taunton (Bristol County).

[Petitioned for by the Mayor and Aldermen.]

The road laid out in this city is a portion of the main road from Taunton to Providence, and is on the same line as the section laid out in Rehoboth. About 4,000 feet have been constructed, extending from a new bridge now being built by the city at Westville for the distance mentioned toward the city proper. The city of Taunton is the contractor.

The broken stone is from the boulders of the vicinity. The width of Macadam is 15 feet, with a shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The natural surface is sandy. Gravel of good quality was obtained from a bank near the road at the easterly end of the way. A small portion near the cemetery was so sandy that the road, for a foundation, was excavated below sub-grade and refilled with field stone and rolled. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 1.8 feet in 100.

Tisbury (County of Dukes County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This road is the main way connecting the towns of Gay Head, Chilmark, West lisbury and Tisbury with the harbor of Vineyard Haven, the most accessible port to the people of those towns. The original road, on account of its sandy nature, was for the greater part of the way almost impassable for loaded wagons. All that portion of the road situated in Tisbury has been laid out and constructed. Considerable changes in grade were required. The town of Tisbury was the contractor.

Broken field stone was used, hauled an average distance of one mile, and broken by a crusher hired of private parties. The width of the Macadam is 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. Part of the gravel used was of good quality and part sandy; all was taken from within the limits of the location. The cross-section provided for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling, with 6 inches of gravel beneath the stone through sandy cuts. The maximum grade is 4.4 feet in 100.

Tyngsborough (Middlesex County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners.]

This road leads from Tyngsborough bridge to the city of Lowell, giving access to the latter market to the town of Tyngsborough and the towns to the west and north. Because of the steep grades met with on the old way a new location provided by the county commissioners was accepted, and one and one-half miles have been laid out and partially constructed, beginning at the above bridge and extending toward Lowell. The county commissioners are doing the grading, and the Highway Commission is completing the road by Macadamizing. The town of Tyngsborough is the contractor.

Broken trap rock from the Salem quarry is used. The width of the hardened way is 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The gravel, taken from a pit near the road, is sandy. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone on the centre and 5 inches on the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 1.6 feet in 100.

Truro (Barnstable County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is another section of the road leading from Boston to the end of the Cape at Provincetown. The portion laid out extends from the Wellfleet line to Kelley's Corner, about two and one-half miles. The road bed is entirely of sand, and the commission proposes to make an experiment in the way of a “turf road” on this strip, and work will be begun as as soon as possible. No contract for the work has as yet been made. The road is narrow, has heavy grades and is very crooked.

Walpole (Norfolk County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is another part of the Boston-Providence road, one of the main highways of the county. The greater portion of the road laid out runs through a cedar swamp and was in extremely bad condition. This portion the commission laid out, believing it right and proper to make suitable for travel the worst portions of the road. Many changes in the grades were necessary. The town of Walpole is the contractor.

The broken stone is from the local conglomerate or puddingstone. The Macadam is 15 feet in width, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The gravel used contains a good proportion of pebbles and some sand, and is of fair quality. The northerly end of the road passes over a hard-pan with pockets of sandy loam. The earth removed from the bill was used to elevate the road, and to widen it across the swamp. A Telford foundation was placed on the hill at the north end, and over the 6 island” near the south end. Side drains were placed under the Telford on both sides of the broken stone. The cross-section provided for 6 inches of broken stone after rolling, with 6 inches of gravel beneath it, excepting where Telford was used. On the Telford foundation the broken stone was to be 4 inches thick after rolling. The maximum grade is 3.35 feet in 100.

Watertown (Middlesex County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is one of the principal roads leading from Boston to Waltham, extending thence to Worcester. The town of Watertown is the contractor.

The broken stone used was from the Waltham quarry; it was laid 27 feet in width. An electric car track extends the entire length of the constructed road, running on one side of the street, and outside the location taken by the State. The cross-section provided for a thickness of 6 inches of broken stone after rolling, laid on a gravel foundation, which was first picked up, shaped and rolled. The maximum grade is 2.44 feet in 100.

Westfield (Hampden County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners.]

This is a part of the main highway from Springfield to Pittsfield, other sections being in West Springfield, Russell, Huntington and Dalton. One and one-quarter miles have been laid out and completed. The town of Westfield was the contractor.

The broken stone used was trap rock from the West Springfield quarry, and is 18 feet in width, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The gravel is sandy and of only fair quality. A portion of the road, near the Westfield end, proved to be over clay, and was laid with a Telford foundation 8 inches thick with a drain on each side. The broken stone was in all cases screened to three sizes, 2 to 4 inches of 21 to 14 at the bottom, 2 inches of 14 to 14 on this, and this covered with screenings. The maximum grade is 4 feet in 100. The cross-section provided for 6 inches of Macadam in the centre and 5 inches on the sides after rolling, and 4 inches of gravel, except where the Telford foundation was used. On the Telford the broken stone was required to be uniformly 4 inches thick after rolling.

Westminster (Worcester County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This road begins at the Fitchburg line, running westerly, and is another in that chain of roads petitioned for running east and west through the northern part of the State. Two sections have been laid out, and built in this town. The town of Westminster was, in each instance, the contractor.

The broken stone is trap rock from the Waltham quarry, 15 feet in width, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is gravel, and the material excavated and that obtained from the sides was used in widening the way. The additional gravel which was used was hauled an average distance of one-half mile. On the first section there were three wooden bridges, covered with planking; it was determined by the commission to rebuild them with stringers and lower flooring of hard pine, and a wearing surface of spruce, this method being employed in order to save the heavy expense of stone arch bridges. The cross-section provided for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on each side after rolling. The maximum grade is 4.6 feet in 100.

West Newbury (Essex County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is the important road leading from Newburyport on the south side of the Merrimack River to Haverhill. A section one mile in length was laid out from the Newburyport line, westerly, which, with the exception of a few minor details, is completed. It is now open for travel. The town authorities not wishing to take the contract, public advertisement was made for bids, and Mr. C. H. Kelleher of Newburyport obtained the contract.

The broken stone was secured in West Newbury, near the road, portions being trap rock of average quality. The width of Macadam is 15 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is a light, sandy loam, in some places overlying a bed of blue clay. Gravel is very difficult to obtain, that secured being of rather poor quality, containing a large proportion of sand and stones. Three old stone culverts were replaced by new ones of larger size, and cobble gutters were laid on each side of the road upon the heavy grades. The cross-sections provide for a depth of 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at the sides, but a section about 1,500 feet long from the Artichoke River was laid to a thickness of 8 inches after rolling. The maxi. mum grade is 4.5 feet in 100.

Westport (Bristol County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners.]

This is the main highway between New Bedford and Fall River, the two largest cities of the county, and is also the important traffic way for the towns of Westport and Dartmouth. The road is in extremely bad condition, the town's not being able to maintain a way principally used for direct communication between the cities referred to. Three miles of road have been laid out and about one and one-half miles have been completed. The town of Westport is the contractor.

The broken stone used is a granite rock, from a ledge in Dartmouth, and is transported by cars over the electric railway extending along this road to the locality where it is used. While the road material is not of the best quality, yet, on account of the high cost of delivering trap rock on this road, the commissioners determined to give it a trial. The width of the road bed is 18 feet, with a 3 foot shoulder of gravel on each side. The natural soil is loamy and sandy, and for a considerable portion of the distance the way lies over a swamp. The gravel used is of good quality, and was found at a pit near the beginning of the road, the average haul being about tlıree-quarters of a mile. The electric railway is located on the south side of the road. In order to provide for the surface water, it has been necessary to build catch-basins on the railroad side of the road with pipes crossing the highway, the road bed of the railway obstructing all flow of water on that side. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches on either side after rolling.The maximum grade is 1.7 feet in 100.

West Springfield (Hampden County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners and Selectmen.]

This is another part of the road leading from Springfield to Pittsfield, up the Westfield valley. This was a road very difficult to travel in the spring, on account of the soft material in the road bed. One mile has been laid out, a portion of which is completed; work having been commenced too late in the season to admit of completing the contract this fall. The town of West Springfield is the contractor.

The broken stone is local trap rock from Lane's quarry. The width of Macadam is 18 feet, with gravel shoulders 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is a sandy loam with some clay. The gravel of good quality is obtained from a pit about 1,200 feet from the road, at an average haul of nearly one-half mile. Owing to the springy nature of the soil some side drains have been necessary. A cut to shorten the line and remove the location from the old road for a distance of about 1,400 feet has been arranged for, the town of West Springfield paying the difference in the cost of construction by reason of the new location. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on each side. The maximum grade is 5 feet in 100.

West Tisbury (County of Dukes County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This road was laid out in extension of the road completed in Tisbury; about 4,500 feet has been completed, extending from the Tisbury line toward North Tisbury village. It is hoped that by somewhat narrowing the road its length may be increased more rapidly year by year. The town of West Tisbury took the contract.

The broken stone used is local field stone. The width of Macadam is 15 feet to the intersection of the North Tisbury and West Tisbury roads, where it is 12 feet wide, with a 3 foot gravel shoulder on each side. The natural soil is loose sand and sandy loam. The gravel was taken from the location, and is of poor quality, being somewhat sandy. To obtain water for the crusher and roller and for the watering cart, a well was driven 60 feet in depth ; a very good supply was found. The cross-section provided for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches at the side after rolling. The maximum grade is 2.7 feet in 100.

Weymouth (Norfolk County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is the road leading from Boston through Weymouth, and thence extending along the “South Shore.” The layout extends from the Weymouth Back River westerly about one-half mile towards the village of North Weymouth. Considerable grading was necessary in order to secure satisfactory conditions. The road is practically finished, the lack of a sufficient quantity of stone delaying its completion. The town of Weymouth is the contractor.

Broken stone was secured from the Cohasset quarry. The width of Macadam is 15 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is sandy and gravelly. The gravel used was obtained by excavating the bank on the side of the road near the Weymouth Back River. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 6 feet in 100.

Whitman (Plymouth County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is a part of the important way connecting Whitman with Brockton. One mile contracted for in 1894 has been completed, and an extension of the original lay out, a little more than one-half mile in length, is partly constructed. The town of Whitman is the contractor.

Broken field stone was used. The width of Macadam is 18 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is a sandy loam, with some clay. The gravel used was hauled about three-fourths of a mile, and is of very good quality. Before any work was done on this road it was found necessary to remove the tracks of the electric railway, to conform to the new location and to the grades adopted by the commissioners. Owing to the fact that it was necessary to transport suitable covering stone for the culverts from Quincy, this part of the work was very expensive. The cross-section provides for 6 inches of broken stone at the centre and 5 inches on each side after rolling. The maximum grade is 2.5 feet in 100.

Wilbraham (Hampden County).

[Petitioned for by the County Commissioners.]

This is a part of the east and west road leading from Pittsfield through Springfield and Worcester to Boston ; other sections in process of construction are at Dalton, Chester, Russell, Huntington, Westfield, West Springfield and Leicester. One mile near the village of North Wilbraham has been laid out. As the town authorities did not wish to contract for the construction, it was advertised, and let to Mr. M. R. Fisk. The lateness of the season. however, did not allow the contract to be finished, but it will be completed early in the spring.

Broken trap rock from West Springfield was used. The width of Macadam is 15 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is sand and sandy loam. The gravel used was taken partly from within the limits of the location and partly from a pit about 500 feet from the road. The average length of haul was about one-third of a mile. The cross-sections provide for 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on either side after rolling. The maximum grade is 4.7 feet in 100.

Williamstown (Berkshire County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This road affords the only practicable means of highway communication between Williamstown and North Adams, and is a direct extension of the section of State road constructed in the latter city. A little over one-half mile was laid out, and the greater portion of this section was completed. The town of Williamstown is the contractor.

The broken stone used is trap rock from the Waltham quarries for the finishing courses, and red granite from the same locality for the bottom layer. The Macadam is 15 feet in width, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil was a fine, loamy sand, with an occasional deposit of gravel or clay. The gravel used was of a fair quality, with small proportions of sand and clay. Two pipe culverts were taken up and relaid with masonry headings. The cross-section provides for a thickness of 6 inches of broken stones at the centre and 5 inches at the sides after rolling. The maximum grade is 1.2 feet in 100.

Wrentham (Norfolk County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

This is another section of the road leading from Boston to the Rhode Island line, being a part of the same important highway running through Walpole, Norfolk and Norwood, and North Attleborough. Grades on this section have been considerably changed. One mile was laid out in 1894 and about three-fifths of a mile during the present year; both sections have been completed. The contract was taken by the town.

Native field stone was broken and used. The width of the Macadam is 15 feet, with a shoulder of gravel 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil varies from loam to sand and to hard-pan. The gravel was obtained from a pit, with an average haul of about three-fourths of a mile, and was of good quality. This road being placed at the foot of a slope, much trouble has been caused by the water flowing over it from the hill side or collecting in the gutters on the sides of the road. The natural contour of this section of the country would not permit this water to run off without much additional expense for pipe drains and dry wells. The cross section provides for a thickness of 6 inches of broken stone in the centre and 5 inches on either side after rolling. The maximum grade is 3.6 feet in 100.

Yarmouth (Barnstable County).

[Petitioned for by the Selectmen.]

The two roads in this town have been thought by the Board to be worthy of attention. The North road, so called, is the road from Boston to Provincetown, the longest and in some respects the most important road on Cape Cod. Owing to the nature of the soil, the way is in a permanently bad condition, and, as it is used by the people of several towns, it seemed proper that the Board should undertake its reconstruction. The foundation is good, and no considerable changes in grade are required. Two sections have been laid out on this road of one mile each, extending from the Dennis line, neither being yet completed, because of the difficulties encountered in having it suitably rolled. The South road is of much the same general nature as the road on the other side of the town. Two miles have been laid out from the Barnstable line, the first mile of which is completed and the second is now under construction.' The town of Yarmouth is the contractor.

On the North road local field stone and on the South side broken stone from the Cohasset quarry have been used. The width of Macadam on all the sections is 15 feet, with a gravel shoulder 3 feet wide on each side. The natural soil is sandy. The gravel for the North road has been obtained from a pit beside the roadway, and on the South side screenings from a sandy gravel, found in a pit near the road, has been used, the average length of haul being about one-half mile.

On the first section of the North road about one-half mile has been partially completed. The work was stopped early in the season, owing to the failure of the town to collect the quantity of stone necessary for breaking, and to the inadequacy of the water supply both for the roller and for the watering cart. The second section on the North shore was then begun, the stone crusher beina placed near a brook, and a steam pump being added to provide ă water supply for running the crusher, watering the stone and for the use of the roller. No trouble was found in obtaining all the stone required at this point.

On the South road great delays have been caused by the failure of the contractor to furnish the quantities of stone called for in bis contract. The contractor was to supply at the same time the broken stone used on the State roads at Scituate and Weymouth. This delay was partly caused by the breaking down of the crusher at the quarry.

The cross-section provides for 6 inches of stone at the centre and 5 inches at each side after rolling. The maximum grade on the North roal is 3.6 feet in 100; on the South road, 4.9 feet in 100.

[C.]

Showing Laboratory Experiments On Roan. Building Stones.

The following-described results were obtained in the highway laboratory of the engineering department of the Lawrence Sci. entific School of Harvard University. Those under the head “ Coefficient of Abrasion” were obtained by the Deval method. which has been employed for some time by the French engineers for determining the relative value of the stone used in the con. struction and maintenance of the national highways of France. These results are said to agree well with those obtained in actual practice.

The apparatus used in the tests consists of a cast-iron cylinder 20 c.m. in diameter and 34 c.m. in depth. At one end is an opening which can be closed with a tightly fitting iron cover. This cylinder is mounted on an axle at an angle of 30° with the axis of the cylinder, and is supported on an iron frame. At one end of the axle is a pulley wheel, by which the cylinder is revolved; at the other is an instrument which records its revolution.

The stone to be tested is first broken into pieces, between 6.31 c.m. and 3.18 c.m. in diameter, which are carefully washed, to remove any foreign matter. In the cylinder are placed 5 kilogrammes of this stone. The top is then bolted on, and the cylinder is made to revolve for five hours at the rate of 2,000 revolutions an hour, making in all 10,000 revolutions. By this process the stones are thrown from one end of the cylinder to the other, and at the same time are rolled against the sides of the vessel and against one another. When 10,000 revolutions are completed, the cover is removed, and the contents emptied into a tray. The cylinder is then thoroughly washed, to remove the dust that adheres to its sides. Each stone above 3.18 c.m. in diameter is then washed under the same water. This water is then filtered, and the filtrate when dry is mixed with the detritus taken from the cylinder. The detritus is then put into a sieve, by which it is separated automatically into seven sizes. These seven sizes, together with the stones that have not been worn below 3.18 c.m. in diameter, are each carefully weighed, and their weights recorded.

The amount of detrition under .16 c.m. is rarely less than 20 grammes per kilogramme of stone used, therefore 20 has been adopted as the standard, and the coefficient of quality is obtained by the following formula :-

q=20 x 70 = 400

in which u represents the weight in grammes of detritus per kilogramme of stone.

It seemed well, in beginning this work, to be guided as far as possible by the experience of others; and for this reason the Deval test was adopted, for it appeared to be the only practical method of testing road metals yet devised. After a number of trials were completed with the Deval apparatus, and their results studied, it was recognized that all the valuable properties possessed by a good road metal were not embraced in this test. The value of any good stone as a road metal is due to certain properties possessed by it. Among these there are three which stand prominent, — cementing value, toughness and hardness. It is evident that the Deval apparatus does not test the very important property of cementing value in the different road metals. The commission, recognizing this deficiency, accordingly directed its attention to devising some means of supplying it. As no previous attempt has been made in this direction, the commission had to invent its own method, which is as follows:-

The stone to be tested is ground to a powder, and passed through a sieve of .25 m.m. The powder is then put in a slightly tapered steel die of circular section, about 3 c.m. diameter, mixed with water, and subjected to a pressure of 2,300 kilogrammes. The resulting briquette is then put aside for at least one week, so it may thoroughly dry. It was at first thought that a test by direct compression would determine the cementing power of the stone. A number of briquettes were tried in this way, but the results were not very satisfactory. On further consideration, it appeared that a test by impact would more thoroughly determine the cementing power of the stone than that by compression, and this method would have the further advantage of approximating more closely to the actual conditions obtaining on roads ; accordingly a machine was devised for testing the briquettes by impact. With this machine a hammer one kilogramme in weight can be dropped freely from any desired height upon a plunger under which the briquette to be tested is placed. The hammer works automatically, and is tripped at the desired height. Attached to the plunger is a lever, pivoted at one-sixth of its length from the plunger, and carrying a pencil at its free end. The pencil has a vertical movement five times as great as that of the plunger, and its movement is registered on a drum against which the pencil presses. The drum rotates through a small angle at each stroke of the hammer. An automatic dia. gram is thus taken of the behavior of the briquette throughout the whole test.

An analysis of the diagram so taken shows at once the number of blows required to cause the destruction of the briquette. A very interesting point is brought out by these diagrams, viz. : In everů case the diagram shows that the plunger rebounded at each stroke until the briquette began to fail. This behavior is exactly analogous to the elastic phenomena observed in all materials of con. structure ; consequently the point at which the briquette ceases to rebound corresponds to the elastic limit of the material. Beyond this point the briquette falls to pieces rapidly.

Briquettes were made from many kinds of stone, and were tested in this machine. It was thought desirable to use a constant blow for all the briquettes, and a short experience indicated a fall of 3 c.m. as suitable, since it broke the most tenacious materials with a moderate number of blows, and yet was not too great to permit the careful determination of the properties of the poorer stones. All the briquettes were 2.5 c.m. high.

The surface of a Macadamized road is constantly being abraded and recemented. Evidently a road made from a material which has the property of recementing in a high degree will keep in better condition than one made from a material of lower recementing power. It was therefore desirable to determine the recementing properties of the stones tested. A new set of briquettes was made, differing from the former only in that they were of constant weight instead of constant height. These were tested in the manner described above, and then were remade and retested.

It has not been thought desirable to present herewith the complete data obtained from the impact test, as the series is not yet completed. The writer has, however, collected and shown in accompanying table some of the more important results thus far obtained, — a sufficient number to indicate the scope of the work done. In this table the stones are arranged in the order of their power of resisting abrasion. Column 1 contains the specific density of the stones; column 2, the coefficients of abrasion (determined in the manner previously described); the next column gives the number of blows required to stress the 2.5 c.m. briquettes to their elastic limits; column 4 gives the same data for the first testing of the 30 gramme briquettes prepared for the recementation test, and the next column gives the number of blows that the recemented briquettes will stand before reaching their elastic limits.

[F.]

SHOWING BLANK FORM FOR PETITION, BY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, FOR STATE ROAD. COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.

To the Massachusetts Highway Commission. Respectfully represent your petitioners that they are the county commissioners of the county of ; that your peti. tioners adjudge that the public necessity and convenience require that the Commonwealth should acquire as a State highway a road leading from in the town city of, to in the town -city-of in the county and which is described as follows:" That your petitioners have caused a survey to be made, and accompany this petition with a plan and profile. Your petitioners therefore pray that said described road may be acquired as a State highway. Dated at this day of 189 Board of County Commissioners.

[G.]

SHOWING BLANK FORM FOR PETITION, BY MAYOR AND ALDERMEN, FOR STATE ROAD. COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.

To the Massachusetts Highway Commission. Respectfully represent your petitioners that they are the mayor and aldermen of the city of in the county of ; that your petitioners adjudge that the public necessity and convenience require that the Commonwealth should acquire as a State highway a road leading from in said city, to in the town city of in the county of and which is described as follows:That your petitioners have caused a survey to be made, and accompany this petition with a plan and profile. Your petitioners therefore pray that said described road may be acquired as a State highway. Dated at day of 189 this Mayor. Board of Aldermen.

[H.]

SHOWING BLANK FORM FOR PETITION, BY SELECTMEN, FOR STATE ROAD. COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS. To the Massachusetts Highway Commission. Respectfully represent your petitioners that they are the selectmen of the town of in the county of that your petitioners adjudge that the public necessity and convenience require that the Commonwealth should acquire as a State highway a road leading from in said town, to in the town — city — of in the county of and which is described as follows:That your petitioners have caused a survey to be made, and accompany this petition with a plan and profile. Your petitioners therefore pray that said described road may be acquired as a State highway. Board of Selectmen.

[I.]

TABLES SHOWING VALUATIONS OF CITIES AND TOWNS THROUGHOUT THE STATE, WITH AMOUNTS APPROPRIATED FOR REPAIR AND CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS AND BRIDGES. The following tables, showing the valuation of the different cities and towns throughout the State, together with the amounts appropriated for the repair and construction of roads and bridges, are as complete as can be prepared from the data secured by correspondence with the officials of the various municipalities, and have been prepared in accordance with the following order, passed by the Legislature May 31, 1895:Ordered, That the Massachusetts Highway Commission be requested to give in its next annual report a tabulated statement of the appropriations made by the various towns and cities of the State for the repair and construction of roads and bridges during the year 1895.

[J.]

LIST OF OFFICERS OF MASSACHUSETTS Hrom COMMISSION. * , . . . Commission GEORGE ARTHUR PERKINS, NATHANIEL SOUTHGATE SHALER, WILLIAM EDWARD MCCLINTOCK,) . . . Charles Mills, . . . . . Chief Engine CHARLES MILLS, . . AUSTIN BRADSTREET FLETCHER, JOHN MICHAEL MCCARTHY, . Walter Edwin HITCHCOCK, . EDWARD AUGUSTUS AUSTIN, . . . . . . . . . . . Clerk Assistant Clerk, . Book-keener. . Messenger, . . . . LOGAN WALLER PAGE, . . . . . . . Geologist. . For the names of the persons employed as engineers, see pages 79-86.